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Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer…

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

by Janna Levin

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in 1915 einstein published his theory of general reality. the theory said there could be gravitational waves; sort like riddles in space/time. this book is about the hunt for the waves. how do you find them? it is a close and detail look on finding them. it's about the scientists that spend the careers search for method of finding them and the search for them. it talks about finding funds big science and huge ego! ( )
  michaelbartley | May 14, 2017 |
The author is an astrophysicist who tells the story of the discovery of gravitational waves. The narrative involves an abundance of insider detail about the brilliant but difficult personalities involved and their many quirks and conflicts. ( )
  proflinton | Apr 4, 2017 |
539.754 L6652 2016
  ebr_mills | Mar 23, 2017 |
A reportorial-style (though Levin is a scientist herself) account of the fraught, decades-long process of realizing the dual-site Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Lots about the principal "troika" of Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Ron Drever (and quite a bit about plenty of other people too). Only the book's dramatic 7-page Epilogue, apparently, was written after LIGO's first and historic detection of a merger of two cosmologically distant black holes.
  fpagan | Oct 11, 2016 |
I guess I am a physics nerd, because I was spellbound by this brief yet detailed history of the development of the LIGO and the search for gravitational waves. Levin knows her physics, and uses striking images and analogies to explain the physics behind the LIGO endeavor and why its results are so important. She also knows her physicists and relates the rivalries, personality conflicts and hurt feelings matter of factly. All of this is fascinating to me,, as are the politics behind funding the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories in Lousiana and a fdw hours drive from me in Hanford, WA. I want to convince my book club to read this one. ( )
  nmele | Oct 4, 2016 |
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Taking on the simultaneous roles of expert scientist, journalist, historian and storyteller of uncommon enchantment, Levin delivers pure signal from cover to cover. ... But as redemptive as the story of the countless trials and unlikely triumph may be, what makes the book most rewarding is Levin’s exquisite prose, which bears the mark of a first-rate writer: an acute critical mind haloed with a generosity of spirit.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307958191, Hardcover)

From one of our most eminent theoretical astrophysicists and an award-winning writer, a fascinating, firsthand history of the scientific pursuit to detect gravitational waves: the holy grail of modern cosmology, the soundtrack of the universe.

In 1916, Einstein became the first to predict the existence of gravitational waves: sounds without a material medium generated by the unfathomably energy-producing collision of black holes. Now Janna Levin, herself an astrophysicist, recounts the story of the search over the last fifty years for these elusive waves--a quest that has culminated in the creation of the most expensive project ever funded by the National Science Foundation ($1 billion-plus). She makes clear how the waves are created in the cosmic collision of black holes, and why the waves can never be detected by telescope. And, most revealingly, she delves into the lives and fates of the four scientists currently engaged in--and obsessed with--discerning this soundtrack of the universe's history. Levin's account of the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks of this unfolding story provides us with a uniquely compelling and intimate portrait of the people and processes of modern science.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 11 Feb 2016 22:30:39 -0500)

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